Article date: 13 July 2009
Over two hundred and eighty excited children met Team RAC man Stephen Jelley after he made a surprise pit-stop at a Rutland Primary School on Friday.
Alongside a host of BTCC drivers, the 27-year-old dropped in on Brooke Hill Primary School in Oakham to meet the youngsters after a group of Year 6 students won a competition organised by Rockingham in partnership with the BTCC.
Schools from across the East Midlands were invited to attend the official BTCC Media Day at Rockingham earlier this year and were asked to produce a newspaper covering the pre-season build-up to the UK’s top motor racing series.
Primary school students were given access to many of the star drivers as well as more than 300 race professionals ranging from mechanics, engineers and team owners to PR personnel to help gather all the information they needed.
In the end it was six students from Brooke Hill Primary School who beat off stiff competition from nearly 200 fellow cub reporters and photographers from Rutland, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire to earn the VIP visit.
Jelley was given a guided tour of Brooke Hill by the six winners before taking part in a special assembly involving all 280 children, answering questions from students and being interviewed by the winners for the school’s in-house radio.
Team RAC star Stephen Jelley from Leicester, said: "The whole BTCC Media Day event at Rockingham was a golden opportunity for the children to show what they’re made of and they did not disappoint.
"Their questions and interviewing techniques were well planned and that really showed with the end result. In fact, a few journalists we have to deal with week in, week out at BTCC race events could probably learn from some of the children at Brooke Hill!"
Year 6 Teacher Karen Hosmer, who is also the Gifted and Talented coordinator at Brooke Hill Primary School, said: "The children worked very hard on their newspaper at both school and at home during the holidays.
"The whole experience has been fantastic and the children have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the competition. We were really pleased to have won the competition and the whole school was very excited about the visit.
"We had such an amazing time with the drivers, who were absolutely brilliant with all the children. They have left a lasting impression on the whole school and certainly gained a few more fans on the way."
All of the children who entered the competition received a free ticket for themselves and an accompanying adult to come and watch the drivers battle it out at Rockingham in the penultimate rounds of the Championship on September 19/20.
Rockingham director Charlotte Orton, said: "This is the third year we have organised such a competition in partnership with the BTCC and once again we were absolutely thrilled with the response we received from schools.
"Everyone clearly put a lot of time and effort into producing their newspapers as the standard of entries was very high, making the judging process very difficult for the expert panel of judges."
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The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) was formed in 1958 and is Britain’s most popular motor racing spectacle. Its race season comprises ten events at top circuits across the UK. It is contested by professional racing drivers in competition versions of every day road cars, giving it tremendous public appeal. Some 325,000 watch the BTCC trackside each year. www.btcc.net
About RAC – The Driving People
With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists’ needs. RAC incorporates RAC Insurance.
RAC is committed to providing the very highest levels of service to its members and has been ranked first for customer service by J D Power and Associates’ UK Roadside Assistance Study for the last three years.
RAC is part of Aviva, the world’s fifth largest insurance group which operates in 28 countries.
RAC’s news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.racnews.co.uk
HiQ (part of Goodyear Dunlop) became the BTCC's new title sponsor in 2008 in a new three-year agreement. It provides a fast-fit car care service at its 150 centres across the UK. In the next two years, that number will rise to 250 as HiQ embarks on revolutionising the fast-fit industry. It has already taken the lead by offering a unique online service www.hiqonline.co.uk for motorists to buy tyres and arrange a fitting appointment.